By Joab Graybrook
Coburg’s Senior Men’s team had a successful hit-out in its intraclub match in Longwood on Saturday. In the hometown of Coburg life member Chris ’Narra’ Lalor, the Blue Team beat the White Team by eight points in a close and exciting finish. Backline coach Mark Hounslow was coaching the Blue Team, while midfield coach Adrian Pilgrim coached the White Team at Longwood Recreation Reserve. It was an impressive first game for the club for both Corey Ellis and Ben Jepson, among other new recruits. The Blue Team was spearheaded by Peter McEvoy, Josh D’Intinosante and Aaron Clarke all kicking three goals, while the White Team had a host of goalkickers including Sam Lowson, Mitch Podhajski, and Athan Tsialtas. After leading at each break, it was the Blue Team who ultimately proved too good in the end.
Coburg FC Life Member, Chris ‘Narra’ Lalor. Photo: Dan Atamian.
It was a fast start for the Blue Team in the first quarter, as McEvoy kicked an early goal to put the first points on the board for the game. Braedyn Gillard hit back with a goal for the White Team, as both sides quickly moved the ball from defence to their forward line in an attacking fashion. The Blue Team defended well, as the White Team applied excellent forward pressure, led by Lowson creating chances and crumbing at the feet of his teammates. Podhajski presented well for the White Team, while McEvoy was an aerial threat all around the ground and finished the quarter with an impressive goal from a tight set shot. The last goal put the Blue Team ahead by five points at the end of the quarter.
The White Team jumped out of the blocks early in the second quarter, kicking two goals and putting the pressure back on the Blue Team. Jackson McDonald was a standout around the ground, with his disposal use and running ability a key factor in the White Team’s early success. The White Team continued on in this fashion, kicking a further two majors to take the lead over the Blue Team. Josh Guthrie led the fightback, with his ball-winning ability a big factor in keeping the Blue Team in the game. Clarke then kicked two goals in a handful of minutes, including one from a strong grab to help bring the Blue Team back into the game. A good goal from D’Intinosante from the boundary and a third goal from Clarke for the term helped the Blue Team hold a three-point lead at the main break.
Josh D’Intinosante. Photo: Dan Atamian.
Guthrie showed his class and skill by starting the third term in an impressive manner, as Ryan Sturgess had some excellent defensive passages for the Blue Team. Lowson once again proved dangerous, kicking a goal from a good mark to add to his tally. Podhajski showed how well he can move the ball as he played some midfield time to put the White Team into attacking positions. As the play slowed up, Ellis displayed his elite skills with the ball while teammate Jepson was playing an important intercepting role down back. Ben Reddick also impressed with his clean hands in the midfield, as the Blue Team led by two points heading into the final term.
The last quarter started in a similar fashion with how the third term ended, with Guthrie and Sturgess linking up with D’Intinosante, who kicked a goal with a classy finish. Classy defenders, Jack Maibaum and Ryan Exon helped the White Team press into forward 50, which created a lot of chances early for the White Team. D’Intinosante kicked an excellent crumbing goal, but Tom McKenzie fired back straight away to put the White Team ahead midway through the quarter. Midfielder, Jhye Baddeley-Kelly was effective in his attacking play in the middle, setting up a goal for Ellis to put the Blue Team back in the lead late in the game. Sturgess and Tom Silvestro rebounded strongly, creating chances and keeping the pressure on the White Team. But it was McEvoy who sealed the game for the Blue Team with a tough goal in a congested pack. Guthrie proved his class late, playing a calm and collected role in helping the Blue Team win the game by nine points.
Jack Maibaum. Photo: Dan Atamian.
Speaking after the game, Senior Men’s head coach, Andrew Sturgess said he was pleased with the game and spoke about how the trip to Longwood would help the team moving forward.
“It was a nice contest, really good hit-out, I think it sets us up really well to attack the next three practice games against opposition,” he said.
After their intraclub hit-out, the Coburg Senior Men’s team stayed back at Longwood for their pre-season camp. Sturgess believed this camp would allow the team to continue to build on their strong pre-season.
“For us, it’s coming up here in the morning, playing an intraclub and doing some culture stuff this afternoon, but really it’s just a time that’s dedicated to connection and further bonding,” he said. “We really just want to allow time for relationships to manifest organically and that connection to grow. It’s going to be one of our greatest strengths, it already is, and we are hoping to come away from this weekend knowing a little bit more about each other as human beings, and hopefully, that carries through to this year.”
Coburg Backline Coach, Mark Hounslow, Life Member Chris ‘Narra’ Lalor and midfielder, Luke Bunker. Photo: Dan Atamian.
Blue Team: 2.3 | 7.3 | 8.9 | 12.12 (84)
White Team: 3.2 | 6.6 | 8.7 |11.9 (75)